Saturday, May 16, 2009


If you look in the details, the hassles, the compost heap, and in the bottom of doing things you never wanted to do, you will see God (or whatever She is).

There is never a more direct and authentic connection than the swaying, sparking cable that wrecks the local view...the stuff you thought was gone and buried, the mess that belongs to third-world countries of this planet and of your soul.

Confronting that which you most fear, staying open anyway, there appears a terrible, beautiful divinity in the cracked mirror, in the failure, the sickness and apparently random pain. That which you utterly reject contains the answer.

We often believe that an ideal healing would find us in some kind of beautiful and well-tended setting--a spa, a monastery on a mountaintop, a tropical beach (sans bugs)--always with our basic needs provided by visible or invisible caring, compassionate or even hedonistic attendants. Somehow, during that time, we hope a new version of ourselves will emerge--a stronger, more defined and whole person, self-esteem and health restored, new confidence granted. Oh, and wisdom would be good, too!

Perhaps then, we could come back to our daily world transformed and immune to all this messy pain. Maybe the horrible sense of isolation and disappointment would be gone forever. It would be so nice, never having to worry again about a lack of security or beauty or power...about loss or death or enemies to our welfare! But if we actually manage to arrange a change in setting aligned with our imagination, what we take is none other than what we return with, which is this, now. Any truly restorative or profound experience will be lost on an ego busy with staying in a state of thrilling separation. Oh, the novel and dramatic search for love and wholeness! It sparkles and shines and beckons...for a good reason. It's the jewel at the softest throat, the flower in the belly, the warm strength of the unwavering arms in which we long to be held.

It is complete, utter acceptance of our fallible, failing and dying selves.

If only.

There are times when a storied loss is so great that it hurts to breathe. The body becomes leaden and the mind numb, and the only movement that makes sense is a frantic searching and turning to anything that resembles relief or escape. Now is the time to stop. Now is when the turning to face what pursues you is most productive...stay with it, because you are about to see the forbidden face and speak the forbidden name. No, you will not die, or turn to stone...just stay, and look. The setting is probably wrong, the time definitely inconvenient, and the view not very good. Someone is telling you that you are selfish or irresponsible or confusing. Just breathe.

No one wants to do this, because it means being absolutely and positively alone, all the props fallen by the wayside. In an age where we are beginning to see the fact and necessity of connection with each other, it will be nothing but a surface gloss unless we have the courage to stop where we are and behold what this is.

Look around and understand yourself. Look at this aloneness, this perspective which you are, which you create each moment. What you see is entirely brought into being by you. The world is literally what you are doing right now. You are the science and the mysticism, the naming and unnaming, the weakness and the power, sickness and health. If you see an incoming asteroid or nuclear missile with your name on it, and you wisely decide to go get your best baseball glove in an attempt to catch it, what you are as you look to the sky is this suddenly stunning view of backyard, upraised arms (one hand properly outfitted for the incoming catch), a growing shadow and expanding shape and sheer, freeing you know?

That is also what we are before and during. Accepting this aloneness, the fact that no one will ever fully understand being from exactly your point of view, is the beginning of the beginning. From the infinitesimally tiny point of primacy that you sense within, the aloneness continues to expand, until it includes all experience at all times as the complete and perfect view. Longing and fulfillment, gain and loss, blindness and sight is what we are. Is what God is. Somewhere along the way, alonenesss becomes too inclusive to leave itself out, and She is actual. Golden. Freedom. Knowing herself.

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